Business week: a snag in the fight for $ 15

Welcome to the end of February. Here’s your quick rundown of business and tech news you need to know for the week ahead and stay warm. – Charlotte Cowles

The house rental company appeared to be flying high after its initial public offering in December. Then it posted a significant drop in revenue and a loss of $ 3.9 billion last week in its first earnings report as a publicly traded company. Much of its loss – $ 2.8 billion – can be attributed to stock-based compensation related to its IPO. somewhere else. Still, Airbnb has exceeded sales expectations and said it is poised to bounce back once the pandemic releases its stranglehold on the travel industry.

Jerome H. Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, testified before Congress last week on plans to support the economic recovery. It was glittery stuff, as usual, and nothing new – he reiterated that the central bank would keep interest rates low and stimulus would flow freely to support the country’s return for as long as needed. But he also put forward a new idea: that improving government childcare support policies was an ‘area for study’ and could attract women to the workforce after their historic exodus of the year. last.

Consulting firm chief McKinsey was dismissed from his post last week after an investigation into the consulting firm’s involvement in the opioid crisis. Earlier this month, McKinsey agreed to pay 49 states a settlement of nearly $ 600 million because it helped Purdue Pharma “turbocharge” sales of its pain relievers OxyContin, even after drugmaker pleaded guilty to misleading doctors and regulators about the risks of OxyContin. McKinsey did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, but the evidence against the company received pretty bad publicity.

For the first time in years, Twitter is adding new features to its platform. In an effort to attract more users, the company announced plans to introduce a subscription model for exclusive content and build communities for specific interests. These offerings aren’t much different from other social media platforms, but unlike its peers, Twitter rarely changes formula and hasn’t put a lot of energy into growth. So far, that is. Company CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter wants to increase its number of daily active users by at least 64%, to 315 million, and at least double its annual revenue over the next three years. .

Former WeWork chief executive Adam Neumann is set to receive a $ 480 million settlement in his long-running legal dispute with SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate that bailed out the company after Mr. Neumann nearly led him to bankruptcy in 2019. SoftBank tried to walk away from the deal after the pandemic wiped out demand for co-work spaces, but no dice – he has since been locked in a battle with Mr Neumann. Now SoftBank has made a compromise and agreed to buy half of the shares it originally committed to. The trial delayed Softbank’s efforts to go public with WeWork – whatever its value now.

House Democrats have moved forward with the Biden administration’s $ 1.9 billion stimulus package, which includes a measure to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2025 But a non-partisan Senate official ruled that the wage increase violated budget rules that govern what can be included on the bill. These guidelines are stricter than usual as Democrats rely on a fast-track process known as budget reconciliation, which protects legislation from obstruction in the Senate and allows it to pass without Republicans backing. The Senate will have to determine whether the wage provision can stand when it discusses the bill this week. In related news, Costco has a head start and increases the minimum wage for its workers to $ 16 an hour.

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